Or Stay


abby5_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Despite The Laws Of America
Synopsis Abby wakes up screaming about a dream featuring certain criminals who were never really caught, is comforted by another.
Date December 26, 2009

Old Lucy's: Upstairs

Though one might remember when a certain fiery woman lived here… Now the living area above Old Lucy's has changed hands. The open living room and kitchen are homey, a commingling of two people's tastes. The leather couch sits kitty corner to a one of red suede and a bit smaller. A large bird cage for it's budgie inhabitant takes up it's own corner beside dark paneled walls. Bookshelves with literary pieces of a variety both academic and not take up another small section.

The kitchen is large, with a rolling wood and black marble island to give more counter space to work on. Pots and pans hang from the roof and track lighting keeps it not gloomy. A proper oak dining table has been set up with matching chairs instead of the 70's castoff that the residents have been known to own and a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the center.

Down a hall lay's multiple doors. A master bedroom occupied by the oldest resident and occasionally have a pervading smell of whiskey and smoke coming from it when the door is open. A second door with a cross above it, a third with no marking that is occupied by the third resident of the premises. Two other doors lead to a linen closet and bathroom - Decorated in a very strong pirate theme - respectively. A black cat with a red velvet collar and a little swarovski charm dangling from it can be found meandering at will.

Wee hours of the morning bring about streetlight filtering through curtains, nocturnal birds sweeping across the city looking for rats to catch and consume, police passing by in their cruisers and looking for curfew breakers or those who are breaking the laws of America.

It also brings Abby from out of her sleep with a heavy gasp, staring up at the ceiling of her bedroom. //Her/ Bedroom in New York and not some foreign country or down south. The sheets are soaked with sweat, tendrils of brown hair plastered to her forehead and cheeks as she struggles to sit up and work her plastered leg from out of it's tangle in her sheets. Any sounds that she's made, she's oblivious to upon waking save for the labored breathing and whimper when she tugs her foot the wrong way and it doens't budge despite her frantic movements.

Somebody collides into the door, elbow-first. By default, Teo; addled and disoriented by the torque and roil of bad memory and medicine dreams, the girl might for a moment think it's somebody else. His voice erases all figment of doubt: "Abigail!" Metal bumps and clicks against metal, doorknob twisted and tumblers shouldering each other side. Planed wood hiccups open, callused fingers barring the edge, and Teo heaves himself in with about as much grace as a walrus levering itself out of the slopping shiny sea.

He hasn't said much, for the past few days. Something about having his face ripped open an inch and a half past wider than his mouth should be, the exposure of teeth and lumpy tongue and seam of scarring chasing him into quiet like merely 'killing a bunch of enemy people' never could— but he's here, now, loud, pale eyes huge in his head. "Abby— Abby. Are you okay? You— screamed."

If she had the shotgun here, it might have been brandished and fired off at Teo when he clumsily or bearishly makes his way through her door. Much like what's caused the sheen on her skin and the freezing of frantic movements when he appears. Caught like a deer in headlights, eyes glassy and sleep chased around the edges.

She screamed. No surprise there, she likely did a few times. "Nightmare" Hoarsely spoken, tongue sticking to the roof of her mouth and when she swallows the pain of a dry throat. "Nightmare" Crutches lean against her night-table in readiness for their owner to use them. "Nightmare" Third time spoken as her anxiety spilling over from said dream translates into failed co-ordination to extricate herself from her sheets. Pale pink cheeks are afforded a bath of extra salt as a few fat tears make their way over her bottom lids.

Thickly mumbled epithets and socked toes. Everything about Teo seems wrapped up in a few clumsying extra layers of squashy cotton surface material except for his intent to comfort. One moment, he's gone; the next, he is across the room, an extra box of Kleenex in one hand and the other one spasming coltish fingers between dual urges to pat and to hug. Or to punch something. Somebody. In the throat.

He understands Abigail well enough to know that, on average, her nightmares don't come from nowhere or no one. In the end, Teo does neither and none of those actions; reaches over to help pull blankets aside instead, freeing her cast-bulked leg and the other one from the recesses of perversely bright crisp sheets. Pokes Kleenex at her. "That shit's no joke.

"Sorry; thought after Russia, you were doing better." 'Sorry,' because— he has relevant superpowers, partially. 'Sorry,' because he isn't sure why he thought that, when Ryazan itself had been fraught with betrayals, near death, capture, unwanted separations and cold and remorseless stone.

"Not Russia" She takes the help, lets him do what he can to unpeel her legs, hands shaking as they take a kleenex from the box, even as another is pulled through by design, ready to await it's mate should the brunette need it. The white pulp is drawn across her eyes as plaster thumps onto the floor with a resounding thud that makes the cat that's perched on the dresser lift it's head and glare over. Disturbed it's sleep yet again this evening. "Not Ethan. Sweet merciful lord, I done don't know why I- Why I dreamed about him. Logan."

Logan? It— doesn't actually take Teodoro any time to remember who the Englishman was, but but there's a moment disconcertion, unsettledness, then resettling once he places the name, face, personality, relevance or lack thereof, which was indeed kind of Abby's point. By then, they're one tissue down and Teo's feet have retreated from the relative chill of the wooden floor, hauled up to set his heels on the jut of bedframe below mattress.

He smooths the confusion out of his eyebrows the next moment. Leans over to seat the tissue box underneath her tented knees, filing it neatly into Her Personal Space, for her use, and he sets about pushing stringy dark hair back from her forehead with a careful finger. "He hurt you again? If you don't want to talk about it," he adds, without finishing.

"No. No, he saved me. He saved me from Flint" In as much as that makes sense but when do dreams ever really make sense. Dreaming of Flint would make sense given her anger with him right now when she found the letter and cellphone on her bed. The map with an X and his name on some ghost town in Mexico.

"He saved from Flint. A god damned unicorn and a sword and lighting up the dark. Disembowling Flint." Bile rises in her throat and she swallows it back despite the bitter taste in it all. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I woke you" A second tissue plucked up so she can blow her nose.

He saved her from Flint. The second reel of thought makes even less sense than the first, at least on the level of libidinal drives. Teo feels his mind blink before his eyes close and open again. He remembers the map, of course. The phone.

Figured out the schedules for three or four different bus, bike, and plane segmented routes there. Couldn't figure out what to say, or do, or how to fit that in with further prospective calls to world-saving duties, so the plans and papers stayed as plans and papers, unrealized, packed into the same box of shit and wired harddrive backups as he keeps his old letter to Leonard in. "I don't know," he says, finally. There's a drift of absentminded thought through his brows. He has his head turned, a little, his ruined cheek angled away; perhaps in coincidence. Probably not entirely conscious, at least. "Ghost did something to Logan before he went away.

"Some shit happened to him. Little bit of mental manipulation, few disasters struck too close to home." Hard not to notice: one week, Satoru Lawrence had his torso hamburgered beyond all hope for respiration, and the next he was back in Logan's retinue. "He's still a limey fruit of a bastard, but something like— standards seem to bother him these days. Sometimes. When he's picking his targets. Maybe you noticed something subconsciously. Nothing you're gonna go out there and act on," Teo adds.

He might, optimistically, be alluding to Deckard as well. Nothing so intrusive or bossy as all that, but it's hard to tell where the meaning of dreams begin and end.

She has entertained the thought of going to Mexico. Maybe getting a shotgun across the border, riding in on a horse and putting Flint out of his misery. Swinging Francois up on the back of her horse and the two of them riding off into the sunset. But that was when she first saw the map and his name. Joseph's disappearance has her wondering if the good Pastor didn't hightail it down there with him to make sure he didn't do something stupid.

"I went to his strip club. I went one day, and I told him off. Magnes attacked him and I wanted to make sure he hadn't killed him. I was going to yell and scream and hit him. But when I got there and just saw him, I felt nothing but pity" Abigail gives off a shuddering breath, blowing her nose into the kleenex. "Hokuto put him there. Save me from Flint" WHy she dreamed of flint like he was, chasing after her, the x-ray vision, she doesn't know. She's never dreamed of him like that.

There goes the Amazon. Teo dredges up the courage to reseat his feet on the floor, picks himself up to yank the little plastic trash can over to settle beside her slippers. "Well.

"Unconventional choice of motifs and knights aside, 'Hokuto' sounds like a pretty fucking talented woman," he observes, at length. Months in, he's still met the other dream manipulator only through her handiwork— but of that handiwork, there's been plenty, elaborately crafted, tailored to the minds of so many of his troubled friends. "There should be a lot more like her out here. New York City, these days. Fucked up.

"Clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, mercenary bitch shrinks; more than enough Morphean damage to go around. Hey." He pinches forefinger and thumb shut on the cuff of her pant leg, eager as a conciliatory child. "You want some milk or anything?"

Milk. Hot milk with nutmeg would do good right about now. "Language" He knows her too well. Probably better than she knows herself seeing as he's known her much longer. "Yeah. Yeah, she's pretty talented and right now apparently, in danger. Or so Logan says" Her eyes are wiped again, a residual shudder running through her when she remembers what went on behind closed eyes.

A pink slipper is worked out from under the bed with her good foot and slid on. "Mercenary bitch shrink?" There's lines around her eyes and shadows that girls her age shouldn't have. Even with a birthday fast approaching.

Especially with a birthday fast approaching. Cusp of womanhood and all. Teo angles a glance up the beloved erstwhile healer's face. From his good side, it's hard to tell that he has a bad one gutted through his teeth and sporadically welling saliva in the furrows of gums and keloid-ridged lip. On his good side, he looks the way Teodoro Laudani is always wont to when Abigail's upset. Pathologically concerned. Unsettled.

He lifts up onto his feet, flattening his shirt with a swat of his long hand, proffers the other at Abigail with a curl of thumb in her palm. Hardly the most ballroom of settings, this tiny room only recently smoothed from disuse, but there is no need to be discourteous. Though the disuse felt very long, Teo still remembers the way to the kitchen. "Yeah. The Company hires shrinks. Big shock, I know. Why would Hokuto be in danger?"

This question is loosed off with a backward squint, quizzicality etched in his brow. He flicks the light on in the hallway.

She takes his hand long enough to lean on him and let him haul her up. Take her weight till she can grab her crutches and ease each one under her arms. Bathrobe eschewed since it's just Teo and there's no other company. Francois opted to remain with the others, see things through to the end. It wasn't hard to miss the disappointment when it was found out, but it was hard also to miss the pride and understanding.

Isn't hard too to ignore the sympathy that's on Abby's face, or at least was, the first few times she saw the partial glasgow. Now she's getting used to it. Maybe if she hunts down flint, she'll see what he can do about it for him. Teo shouldn't be saddled with that.

She thumps along behind him, not worried about the noise that might filter down into the empty bar.

She takes his hand long enough to lean on him and let him haul her up. Take her weight till she can grab her crutches and ease each one under her arms. Bathrobe eschewed since it's just Teo and there's no other company. Francois opted to remain with the others, see things through to the end. It wasn't hard to miss the disappointment when it was found out, but it was hard also to miss the pride and understanding.

Isn't hard too to ignore the sympathy that's on Abby's face, or at least was, the first few times she saw the partial glasgow. Now she's getting used to it. Maybe if she hunts down flint, she'll see what he can do about it for him. Teo shouldn't be saddled with that.

She thumps along behind him, not worried about the noise that might filter down into the empty bar as bedroom gives way to hallway and the other rooms therein. Leo gone, long gone and where she doesn't know. There's a hope that he'll be back. "I don't know. I kicked Logan out of my head when I realized he was real. Once I get used to driving with my foot, i'll pay a visit to her. I have to deliver something to Noah Bennet too when I can. From Mr. Spektor"

Bathrobe— is fetched up in a gangling backward leeean, stretch and snatch from Teo's other hand. Because it's cold; also, while he is just Teo, she is Abigail, and her father would rather collect just Teo's wandering eyes out of their pits with a poker, probably. The dense fabric is roped up onto her body, caught before it threatens to scroll backward and fall off, nipped forward to cling precariously to her shoulders.

Good enough. He doesn't look at Leonard's door. Doesn't think he'll be back; almost hopes he won't be before he figures out what to do about his face, anyway. "The bookstore, si?" Teo remembers. The one that had enhoused Francois' journals. He hooks a chair out from under the kitchen table with one foot, diligently keeps his toes away from the poke and clop of her crutch. Milk out of the fridge, then, saucepan on the stove, each movement seamless and swift until he pauses with one hand halfway up to the spice cabinet.

Squint. Teo rotates his head like an owlet. "Nutmeg goes in before, or…?"

"Before and yes, the bookstore. Ichihara books near the Suresh Center" She's gotten used to the trick of sitting down and swinging the crutches out from under her arms and out of the way. "She taught me how to manage myself in a nightmare, to change it from the nightmare to a sanctuary and take back control. She said I didn't deserve my nightmares, Logan cutting out my tongue, Kazimir turning me to ash. Case taking away my gift" Ethan beating the life out of her till there was nothing left.

Logans words echo, over and over in her head. Hokuto's a wreck. "He just said she's a wreck. Usually when a person is wreck, something's wrong. We both know that" She doesn't get out of the chair to make a move to help, fine with just moving her arms into the sleeves of her bathrobe proper and starting to open the accumulated mail on the table.

"Who's the Company shrink?"

The natural state of being for most people is not 'wreck,' it's true. Teo decides that the nutmeg should be added after the heating process is done, winds up clutching the small glass bottle in one hand, warming it for no particular reason other than — that it's cool to touch, his hip leaned against the stove and one eye on the saucepan, the cone of gas flame a lambent blue underneath it. "I like the sound of her. Her judgment is sound.

"Far as it describes you, anyway. If it doesn't seem too forward, you can let her know you know a rookie dream manipulator around." One tiny bubble surfaces in the saucepan. He decides he will need to see a few more before pouring its contents out. The Kleenex box in this room happens to be covered in a tesselated pattern of kittens, which Teo moves to the table next to her, this time, an errant snatching movement looping through his arm. "Liz's psychiatrist is actually a consultant of the Company's.

"Doctor Sheridan. Elisabeth knows, but I think most of her patients miss that memo."

She's not needing the kleenex right now. But it's good to have it close by in case she might need it. It's been strange re-adjusting to the US of A after the month in Russia. Back where she understands what everyone on the street says. The look on her face that is wiped from it a few moments later speaks volumes when it comes right after the name that's uttered from the Sicilian. She's come across that person.

"Red hair?" Oh so casually asked. The traces of sickly green and yellow on her face are fading and she has an appointment with a dentist the next day to take care of the last traces of Ethan handiwork besides her ankle. "About…five five or so."

Teo is going to take a trip to the carrier just to say hello to Ethan, and the world or rescuing it in 'good conscience' can take care of itself. Being shot twice in the torso is sort of standard operating procedure for them and in no way compensates for the fact that Abigail's face isn't an even shade of peach-cream all over. The Sicilian's eye hovers balefully on the disruption of color for a long moment.


The heated milk looses off a feathery hiss of steam as it goes neatly into the mug, not a drop spilled past the matte black rim. "Have you been seeing her? I know you have spoken to psychotherapists a few times. I don't think you'd be in any kind of danger, if that's what you're worried about; you keep your nose pretty fuckin' clean." — Language. Teo's lips thin to silence. He opens his palm, nutmeg up.

"No. Angela Yee is mine. The one Sonny had me go to. That Sonny's estate pays for" Sonny's dead, so it IS his estate, not Sonny who pays for it. For all that she's gone to the woman. She's got that too. "She came to the bar one day, to unwind. Because shrinks go to bars and talk to bartenders to relax. Not other shrinks. I guess… I guess Flint's talked about me and how many pink haired southern bartenders can there really be right?"

Or the company agent/shrink was sussing her out for helping with the mission. Something. Anything. Abigail nods to the nutmeg, gesturing with her palm to pop it into the milk as it simmers. Her face goes pensive then, resting arms on the table and then chin on her arms, closing eyes.

"It'll be okay right? You'll all save the world again and I'll live to see my birthday right?"

Right. Righ—t: except for the part where Teo thought his part is done. Wants to think his part is done. He may have undertaken the part of the white knight for more years than he can (or should) remember, but he's never had a fancy helmet with a pretty visor, and it seems to put a dent in things, the mark on his face.

All right, minor exception. He does owe Ethan an uppercut. And Elisabeth and Francois a bottle of white rum. And maybe shaking Isabella Sheridan until her eyes fall out of her fucking head and she leaves his fucking friends alone! would be heroically-proportioned in the face of nuclear holocaust, too. Well: at least Deckard's in Mexico, now. At least Abigail knows.

Abruptly, Teo yanks his fingers through his bristly hair, hard enough to make his scalp sting and press a blink out of his eyes. "It'll be okay.

"We" and she should know that. Not 'you all,' but We. A pinkie alights briefly on the notch of her upper lip, a perfect fit, and she doesn't have to have seen it to know the other little token of affection that came with it. "Saved the fuckin' world. Which owes you at least a pony for your trouble, but short of that do you have a… a…

"How do you say?" At times, so much the foreigner. "'Wish list?'"

"For my birthday?" Wishlist. "Everyone home. Nuclear threat averted. A new cross that isn't littered with swarovski crystals and little lord's prayers in miniature. I already have enough of those" The tip of her pink tongue darting out to touch the pad of his finger then back into her mouth safe and sound.

"President, the fake one that's currently sitting in the real ones spot, has declared that I shall no longer pay taxes for my duty to the United States. That includes the bar. I cornered Sarisa and demanded that my parents get the same. I won't hold my breath but she said she'd bring it to the President and let me know" She'd have made some sort of demand for Deckard but the last time she did that, she got an earful from him.

"Maybe a pretty dress to wear to a hotel opening with Caliban. If he's still holding the offer open."

Gay-man-powers— otherwise known as those endowed by an adolescent spent in Lucrezia Bennati's company, make Teo fairly well-equipped for the lattermost. Religious upbringing for the cross, ninja training, arguably, for the former ALTHOUGH THAT'S SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM right now. In more chronological order, the Sicilian's features go thoughtful, dispense a brief wince at the Swarovski crystals, smoothe out again. Tax reprieves. That's nice of the American government.

Slight pity they'll still stand out in the dust as the greatest enemy to espoused ideals of freedom and justice and reasonable legislature if the Vanguard are killed. Thanks for nothing, Volken; making unlawful imprisonment look like cake, and tax cuts like grace. Teo exhales, releasing either his temper or a querulous instant's exclamation-point at theee ooother thing. He dries his finger off on his sleeve.

Non problema. "A'right. I forget when the party is, though; you should check with him." He crooks a half-smile— on the unbroken half of his face. "No more bad dreams about Muldoon, eh?"

"I probably need to call him. He might not want to cart me there after everything" After bartering for his life in an ice cold hallway. "Near the end of the month. I'll have to find something special. Special because it's not gonna be something where a hundred dollar dress is gonna do, but I can afford to splurge. It'll be probably the only time I go to something like that"

Abigail inhales deep, shifting the cast with it's rooster that brightens when the light hits it. Francois's contribution. Makes her wonder if he has one tattoo'd somewhere on him. "Muldoon"

Muldoon who's in Russia but not in Ryazan. If anything Anya said was to be trusted. That the man she saw in the hallway wasn't him, but Grigori and a passable illusion. "No" She exhales, tongue darting out to lick her lower lip and moisten it. "No, he hasn't. Just Ethan and Logan, Deckard, Kazimir the origional not Petermir.

Deckard. The old man's name still stands out in the catalogue like a huge mark stabbed through the page. Teo's fingers close on the table for a long moment, loosen again, the tips of his digits alighting in a slow string of taps. His eyes swivel at the streaky trace of bright color in the corner of his eye.

Rooster. Reminds him of a dozen tasteless jokes and the track of the thumb he'd run down marvelling at Francois' back. Vanity, vanity. Same thing that keeps Francois' hand bandaged up seats Teo to forever deliberately hide the ruined side of his mouth. He blinks once. Says nothing of it, though it does remind him he owes the new contraption around Abigail's foot some decoration, as well. "Are you scared of Flint?" he asks, finally. It's hard for him to ask.

"I'm scared he'll do it again"

She can't bring her eyes up to meet Teo's face, ruined or un-ruined side. She doesn't pay heed to the scar. Just studies the grain of the new table and varnish on it that highlights the wood. "I feel like some woman who knows her husband beats her, and yet, she loves him. She doesn't know why, but she loves him and would do anything for him. Even though she knows that he might use his hand again"

Abigail pushes up with her hands, reaching for the crutches so that she can get up properly and find her purse and the painkillers within. She should have taken Sarisa up on the offer of healing. The sash to her robe swings to and fro as the crutches settle under her arms and she thumps out of the kitchen where the milk is being made, purse hanging by the door. "I'm scared that people will think less of me if I walk away without trying to understand why he did it."

"Or stay"

Nutmeg flecks drift down the cross-section of the warmed milk, head toward the bottom of the mug on the course of leaf litter's slow essaying. He should have gotten her a spoon, but he only remembers by the time she's stood up and moving away. It takes Teo a moment to get up and follow. He remembers to snag the mug by the handle, then a spoon. Comes trotting out on her heels, his shadow dwarfing hers in the brighter light of the kitchen. "I think—

"I thought," he amends. "I thought you knew why he hit you. Got scared for you. Mad; lost his temper. It's a cause, but not— never a fucking excuse. Other people can go fuck themselves. If you've decided him hitting you is a deal-breaker, the deal's broken. If you want to give it another shot, then… then you know where he is." Teo's brows knit hard. He doesn't like the idea of Deckard hitting her again. There's no mistake about that.

Teo drifts to a halt in the living room, near the coffee table. Couch will be more comfortable with the cast's dead weight on her leg, no doubt. "He's crazy. Something about— the healing ability, the responsibility of it, maybe even getting off the hook so many times for shit he didn't do, and having no way to make penance for what he did or explain why. I wouldn't…" Pale eyes glint twinned accents down at the purse she's rattling through. He sets the mug down, steps over to help.

Somehow, that makes saying the words easier. "I wouldn't blame you if you'd changed your mind. He's more than a little broken."

We're all broken Abigail. The world is broken. Those words yelled back at her months before when she snapped, Richard telling her that everyone was broken. It wasn't just her.

"There's always Francois." She could end whatever it is that she and Flint have and choose Francois. But Teo knows and she knows that at some point, cast up to her knee or not, she'll go to Mexico if he doesn't come back soon enough. Whatever she does, it'll be face to face and not done through a letter, or over a phone. The little orange bottle is dug from out of her purse and she thump thumps her way to the couch where he's set her milk. "Just, lets just sit and watch a movie, like we always do till I fall asleep again. I could use that."

So could he. Teo's jaw sets slightly and he swallows, reaches up to catch his cheek before saliva threatens a leak. Embarrassing. Negligible embarrassment. There's always Francois, oh, what to do with that phrase?

Smile, Teo decides. Good joke. Cute. If not always, then for now; if not for Francois, then some other mechanic for happiness. He ducks a nod, blinks dirty blond hair back. "I'll get blankets."

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